Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Pantry Redo and Inspiration

According to my architect, I have a relatively small kitchen. It's 15x15 - I guess that's small in the world of big houses today. It seems spacious to me compared to my old kitchen. And the eating area is not included in that measurement. Anyway, he told me that when you have a smallish kitchen it's important to have a big pantry. I have a big pantry - it's 10x9. I remember when we were framing and I couldn't figure out why it was so big - felt like a waste of space. But the shelves and cabinets take up a lot of room so it feels just right now. The pantry also functions like a hallway so it's nice that it has lots of room. There is pocket door at one end and the other end opens into my office, which leads to the kitchen. The way it was originally drawn, there were cabinets on all of the walls and a counter top too. I changed that while we were building and put tall cabinets on one side (as drawn) but on the other side instead of cabinets and a counter, I put open shelving. I figured it would be easier to access and it saved a lot of money. Now I wish I had put the cabinets and counter, but I can always add those at a later date. Above is my nice tidy, pantry that I cleaned and straightened yesterday.

I think the pantry that my architect drew would have looked something like this minus the window. I wish I could have afforded this, don't you love the ladder? He drew one of those in my plans and I loved it. Maybe once my kids are out of college!

image via houzz

image via Atlanta Homes and Lifestyles, architect Brad Heppner

or this one by Stan Dixon:

image via Things That Inspire

Or this one from House Beautiful:

But I have an open shelf pantry (my choice to stay in budget on the cabinetry). According to Remodelista the key to a beautiful open shelf pantry is the storage vessels.

image via decorators choice

image via remodelista

My pantry is fantastic and I love that I have so much storage room. But with the open shelves there is the challenge of keeping everything tidy - not a strong point for my family. I had it very organized right after we moved in, but recently it has been looking awful. Below, my messy pantry:

I realized that a good solution would be to use baskets to hide the clutter and get us organized. The beauty of baskets is that you can't see the clutter inside. So off to Target I went and came home with a car full of baskets.

I kept everything in the same spot - so the kids know where to look for things - e.g. - snacks! The other benefit of having a big pantry is that people bring you things because you have room to store them. My mother and grandmother keep giving me china (which I love), so I have to go get some more china storage containers and then this project will be all wrapped up - in time for the holidays.

Overall the effect is good and now when you walk through you don't notice the clutter. In fact, it looks pretty. A good day's work!

The other side of the pantry with the tall cabinets and second frig:

I love the color of these baskets and they were reasonable too.

The pantry is also a hallway, at one end is the powder room and at the other is my office:

My office:

For good pantry organization help - go to The Simplified Bee.


  1. wow. love your pantry! i would kill for a space like that. then again, i should be happy with what i have considering my last home didn't have any sort of pantry at all.

  2. Lucky you with such a wonderful pantry space!!! My "pantry" amounts to a 36-inch-wide floor-to-ceiling utility cabinet...with four doors. It f

  3. Loved this post. I decided against open shelving in my pantry (and my kitchen designer agreed) because I simply could not keep it clean and tidy. I need things to be behind closed doors! I am hoping the design fits within my cabinet budget.

  4. PS - how is the house next door coming along? I see a small glimpse of it through your office window.

  5. Wow you are one lucky lady to have a walk-through pantry like this. I love it!!! The baskets are a great idea and look wonderful. With a family everything is up for grabs but it sure feels good to get it all spiffed up!! Great job.Kathysue